“All American” and “The Last Cowboy” and “Birth of a Champion” —Winners All.
This time of the year all kinds of books focused on the gridiron game make their appearance. Publishers trot them out, the good, the bad and the highly noteworthy.
The three tomes that are worth your cash and your reading time — in your longtime reviewer’s opinion — are given their due below.
“All American” by Steve Eubanks (William Morrow, $27.99, 273 pages) is as its sub-title proclaims about a couple of young men, the Army-Navy game of 2001 and the war they fought in Iraq.
The work is a masterpiece, telling as it does with great feeling, this tale of Chad Jenkins,Army quarterback, Ranger and Brian Stann, Navy linebacker, Marine. Author Eubanks has done a service to all of us in writing this most noteworthy book.
“The Last Cowboy” by Mark Ribowsky (Liveright, Norton,$29.95, 684 pages) is the most in depth biography ever written about football legend Tom Landry.
Original research and voluminous interviews make this work something truly special. We get to see the man behind the man, who was loved by many and hated,too.
“Strength of a Champion” by O.J. Brigance with Peter Schrager (NAL,Penguin, $25.95, 257 pages) with a foreword by Ray Lewis is another exceptional tome. Its focus is on O.J. Brigance, who in 2001 won the Super Bowl as captain and player with the Baltimore Ravens. Six years later he was diagnosed with ALS and informed that there was a chance he would not live more than four years.
Still there today, Brigance is the senior advisor of player development for the Ravens and a force in the fight against ALS. Inspirational, honest, exceptionally told, this is book for your sports bookshelf.